How to make basic crocheted slipper boots: UPDATED free pattern in women’s sizes S-M-L

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By Gwen Higgins, Blueberry Creek Crafts.

This basic slipper boot is a perfect canvas for embellishment with your own stylistic elements. Try buttons, straps, or tassels. It’s worked from the toe up similar to a sock, so you can adjust the length of each section to custom-fit to your feet. Make the boot as tall as you like. Two balls of Boutique Midnight is just enough to make 12″ tall boots, so you’ll need more yarn if you want taller boots. The pattern is written using standard U.S. terms.

Update December 29, 2014: now includes other sizes, alternate yarn suggestions, and instructions for an improved heel.

For pattern inquiries or comments, email Gwen at gwen.higgins@outlook.com.

Materials

Materials: For sparkly slippers: Red Heart Boutique Midnight, two 70g (2.5 oz)  / 140 m (153 yd) balls, medium (4) weight yarn, crochet hook size 6.0 mm (U.S. 10 / J). Substitute any medium-weight yarn that gives you the same gauge. Just make a test swatch. Other suggested yarns: Red Heart With Love (one to two skeins), Willow Burrow Worsted (two balls), Patons Décor (two balls). After making many pairs, I suggest using one of the alternate yarns. While the Boutique Midnight is very pretty and gives good results, it is not as easy-care, stretches out more, and may not wear as well as the others over time.

Gauge: 13 hdc and 9 rows makes 4” x 4” (10 cm x 10 cm).

In single crochet, 14 sc and 16 rows makes 4” x 4” (10 cm x 10 cm).

Check your gauge and use a different hook size, if needed, to achieve this gauge. You may want to use a smaller hook if your feet are smaller. The boots shown are slightly large for me (I made them for someone with bigger feet), so if your feet are smaller than size 8, use a 5.5mm hook to tighten up the gauge and reduce the boot size.

This pattern is written with ½” negative ease – that means, the finished slipper will be slightly smaller than the actual foot sizes shown, to allow for stretch.

Sizes: Ladies U.S. shoe sizes Small (up to size 6), Medium (up to size 9), and Large (up to size 12).

Instructions are written for smallest size with larger sizes in brackets.

Foot circumference:

  • Small: 7” (17.5 cm)
  • Medium: 8” (20.5 cm)
  • Large: 9” (23 cm)

Foot length:

  • Small: 9” (23 cm)
  • Medium: 10″ (25.5 cm)
  • Large: 11” (28 cm)

Boot height: Approximately 12″ total; 9″ shaft from top of heel, or height of your choice. Foot to ankle is 3.25″ (3.75″, 4.25″).

As per Craft Yarn Council Standard Foot Sizing chart: http://www.craftyarncouncil.com/footsize.html

 

Make Foot:

(Note: This portion is worked in the round, joining with a slip stitch to the first stitch every round and ch 1 to start the next round.)

Toe:

Chain 4.

Round 1: 7 hdc in 1st ch, sl st to join.Ch 1.

Round 2: 2 hdc in each hdc around, join w sl st. Ch 1. (14 hdc.)

Round 3: *1 hdc in 1st hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc; repeat from * 6 times. Join with sl st. (21 hdc.) For size small, your toe is finished. Continue to Foot portion. For sizes Medium and Large, complete round 4.

Sizes M & L only: Round 4: Ch 1 * 1 hdc in 1st two hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc; repeat from * 6 times. Join with sl st to first hdc. 28 hdc.

 

Front Foot:

The lower portion of the foot is worked in the round until you reach the ankle opening, as follows:

Work 1 hdc in each hdc around and join with sl st to first hdc. Ch 1 to start the next round. Continue in this manner until the piece measures 4.25” (5.0”, 5.5”) long from the beginning. This is approximately 10 rows (11 rows, 12 rows) in total from the start of the toe.

Decision point: If you need a smaller or larger slipper, this is about the halfway point in the length of the foot. Work fewer or more rows as required to achieve the desired length. From here on, you will work in rows (back and forth) instead of in the round. Do not join at the end of each row; ch 1 and turn your work.

 

Back of Foot and Heel, Basic Method:

The following rows for the back of the foot and heel are worked back and forth in rows, to make the back of the foot and the heel. Instructions for an alternate, more durable, heel are included on the next page.

Basic Method

Row 11 for size small (row 12 for size medium, row 13 for size large): 1 Hdc in each hdc around, DO NOT JOIN. ch 1, TURN.  (21 hdc (28 hdc, 28 hdc) in row.)

Continue working in hdc in rows until foot measures 8.5” (9.5”, 10.5”) from toe.

Turn heel inside out and use slip stitches to join the back heel seam. Fasten off. Go to boot shaft.

 

Back of foot and heel, alternate method:

This method produces a more durable and shaped heel. It’s worked in single crochet with decreases at the back of the heel to provide a better fit.

Row 11 (12, 13): 1 sc in each hdc around. Do not join. Ch 1, TURN. (21 (28, 28) sc in row.)

Next row: 1 sc in each sc. Ch 1, turn.

Continue in this manner until foot measures 8” (9”, 10”) from toe.

Shape heel:

Row 1 of heel shaping: Sc in first 8 (10, 10) sc, sc 2 tog, sc in next 1 (4, 4) sc, sc 2 tog, sc in last 8 (10, 10) sc. Ch 1, turn. (You have decreased two stitches on this row and now have 19 (26, 26) sc.)

Row 2 of heel shaping: Sc in first 7 (10, 10) sc, sc 2 tog, sc in next 1 (2, 2) sc, sc 2 tog, sc in last 7 (10, 10) sc. (You have decreased two more stitches and now have 17 (24, 24) sc.)

Join heel seam: Turn heel inside out and slip stitch both sides together. This creates the vertical seam at the back of the heel. Fasten off and weave in ends.

 

Make boot shaft:

The boot shaft is made by working rounds of hdc (or the stitch pattern of your choice) around the top edge of the rows that form the ankle opening. In general, on the first round make 3 hdc stitches for every two rows, or one hdc for every one row if you made the alternate heel. This will give evenly-spaced stitches around. I sometimes use single crochet for the first round to give a neater look. It’s your choice.

Join again just to left side of heel seam with slip stitch. Ch 2.

Round 1: Work 15 (16, 17) hdc evenly along left side, 2 hdc in centre front, and 15 (16, 17) hdc along other side. Join. There are now 32 (34, 36) hdc in the round. Join with a slip stitch to first hdc.

Round 2: Ch 2, hdc in same stitch and one hdc in each hdc around. The chains at the beginning of each round are not counted as stitches.

Rounds 3 through 18: Work as for round 2 (one hdc in each hdc) or until desired height (18 rows or your choice). Total height pictured including heel is approximately 12″. Ch 1.

Last 5 rows: One sc in each sc around, join to first sc with sl st. Ch 1 to start next round, except on last round.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

 

 

Abbreviations:

Ch: chain

Hdc: half-double crochet

Sc: single crochet

Sl st: slip stitch

 

Leave a comment with a link to your own version of these boots!

 

Copyright: 2014 G. Higgins.

Feel free to use this pattern to make items for sale, but please give credit to this pattern & my site.

 

For more patterns and gift ideas, visit www.blueberrycreekcrafts.com. Happy crafting!

 

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Tunisian cables and The Walking Dead

It must be autumn, because I’m watching The Walking Dead. Not just one episode, either. Multi-episode binge watching on Netflix. My husband is out hunting and I am free to work on my projects and watch what I like.

Just like the seasons, my TV habits and my creative life operate in cycles. After making a bunch of crocheted socks last winter while working up north, I didn’t touch a knitting needle or crochet hook all spring or summer, focusing on scrapbooking and photo albums instead. Every year autumn brings me back to crochet and knitting, and this year I’ve come back to it excited and inspired. I’ll be trying new techniques and coming back to some of my old favourites.

One technique I’ve returned to is Tunisian crochet. The thick, cozy fabric it makes is perfect for winter accessories. I haven’t made anything this way for a few years, but after watching Lily Chin’s video tutorial on two-colour Tunisian crochet in the round on Craft Daily, I decided to dig out my hooks and get crafting. My first project was an iPad Air slipcover, made with Red Heart Treasure yarn in Tapestry. The Tunisian simple stitch really pops in this variegated yarn. The fabric is thick and gives some padding to protect the iPad.

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The next project, my WIP for the weekend, is a new design by me. It’s a boy’s jacket, worked in Tunisian simple stitch with cables on the front and back of the jacket. Normally when I work cables I do them in knitting. I have avoided crochet cables, because I thought they would look cheesy, but I was wrong. I love the results! With this plain acrylic yarn (Red Heart Love in Pewter), the cables can stand out and don’t get lost in the texture of  the yarn. If you want to try Tunisian, there are some easy free patterns on CrochetMe.

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WIP: Cabled Tunisian simple stitch boy’s jacket, front.
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WIP: Cabled Tunisian simple stitch boy’s jacket, back, unblocked, worked up to arm holes.

I still think the cables look better on Tunisian fabric than on regular crocheted items, and I’d like to try making the pillow shown in Toni Rexroat’s post about crochet for the home on Crochet Me in Tunisian. That’s another project for another night of The Walking Dead.

Five Unique Holiday Gift Ideas for Christmas 2013

Looking for memorable holiday gifts? Here are five unique ideas at a range of price points. Bonus – you’ll be supporting ethical sourcing, recycling/upcycling, and local artisans. Each one is Canadian or has a Canadian connection.

Light and Movement

Need some sparkle this holiday? Brilliant Earth’s gorgeous nature-inspired Wisteria collection is truly covetable. The Wisteria earrings (on left) and ring (far right) are on my wish list! Although Brilliant Earth is based in California, these fine pieces are made with ethically-sourced, conflict-free Canadian diamonds. You can also order custom-made engagement rings and wedding rings.

Wisteria-Leaf-Earring-croppedWisteria-Group-Shot-cropped

Toys with Character

Something Sweet Creative Studio makes adorable owls from upcycled fabric. You’ll find them at craft fairs around the Kootenays and online on Facebook.

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Luxury hand-made knits and bath products

Ju Tri Luxury Soap and Hand Knitted Items makes soaps, lotions, lip balms, toques, and mittens. This Etsy shop, based in Alberta, Canada, has a Kootenay connection – the owner was born in the West Kootenays.

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Clever Paper Crafts

Wintergreen Designs,  on Etsy, sells fabulous Scandinavian-style quilled paper ornaments. Who knew quilling could be so cute? Not to be missed!

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Original, Locally-Made Artwork

The Kootenay Gallery of Art in Castlegar, BC is hosting an exhibition and sale for Christmas, featuring artwork by over 100 local artists and craftspeople. One way to make the holidays memorable is to make memories! Visit the gallery for a magical experience this holiday. You’ll find many gift ideas once you’re there. Highly recommended!

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4 ways to get organized and clear your mind

It’s spring, and even though it’s raining in Castlegar, I’m still excited about all the new ideas for 2013. Is your craft room a mess? Have you been putting off new projects? Here are four ideas for you to get a fresh start with your crafting without the stress.

Clear the Clutter

With two kids, school, work, and hobbies, my family is constantly fighting clutter. My goal is to not to bring in new supplies into a cluttered, messy craft room. I know, it’s hard to keep things organized, especially with crafting. At least it is for me! Get some boxes or a bookshelf and organize your supplies by type and by colour. This could be as simple as having a labelled bin for each of your stamps, inks, pens, punches, dies, paper, and embellishments. You don’t have to go all Martha Stewart, but it helps. (Martha’s a genius and I wish I could be half as good!)

This video from ChicnScratch gives excellent tips on how to organize your desk.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6Z0uoxz1fw

Make a List

You probably have a whole list of to-do’s and half-finished projects floating around in your head. (Or maybe you don’t, maybe that’s just me.) Stop wasting your brain power trying to remember everything. Do a “brain dump” and write all those things down on a list. Pick the top three and save the rest for another day. Try the Epic Day This-n-That bundle from Stampin’ Up! – it’s a fully customizable, colourful journal for notebook-lovers. Or, try the Up to Date Planner digital kit if you prefer to type out a list.

One Thing at a Time

It’s way more effective to work on just one thing at a time. Turn off your iPad and focus on the scrapbook page in front of you. Or load the dishwasher without watching television. If you’re a mom focusing on just one thing will be difficult – try it anyway, maybe after the kids go to bed. Tune out the world by putting on your headphones and cranking up the music while you work. File away all the other projects so you can work on a clean desk. Multi-tasking is not worth the stress.

Sketch it Out

My absolute must-have is the big pad of grid paper from Stampin’ Up! I use it to sketch out craft projects, test colour combos, and even for analyzing data and outlining reports and flowcharts for work. Being able to see how everything fits together makes a project clear and easy to tackle. It also helps you to organize your approach for big, multi-step projects.

Happy spring, and happy crafting!

Winter Sheep

This guy stood still and let me photograph him from the truck.
This guy stood still and let me photograph him from the truck.

This is a common sight on the road to our place, but I never get tired of stopping for the sheep. Sometimes there will be a couple of males butting heads – wow! These photos were taken in Syringa Creek Provincial Park in BC. City folks might be surprised at the size of these creatures: an adult male sheep standing next to my SUV can look me in the eye almost level. You must not get out of the vehicle for a closer look, even though they seem tame.

 

Copyright 2013 Blueberry Creek Crafts, All rights reserved
In Syringa Park, BC

 

Copyright 2013 G Higgins. All rights reserved.
in Syringa Park, BC

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Holiday Gifts for Geeks

“Black Friday” is nearly upon us, again, followed by the so-called “Cyber Monday”. It’s the height of the holiday shopping season.  Why bother with run-of-the-mill gifts this year when there are so many fabulous gifts for geeks out there?  Get something memorable! Here are a few ideas to get you started. Plus, you can avoid the malls by shopping online.
The Geekery Category on Etsy.com is chock-full of, well, geeky gifts, such as:
Chemistry-Themed Crayon Labels
Art meets science in these labels. For your children, or for yourself.
Chemistry Crayon CLEAR Labels - set of 96
Caffeine-Molecule Upcycled Coffee Mugs
Face it, most of us rely on the ubiquitous caffeine molecule every day.  Let people know just how much their lives are impacted by chemistry by showcasing this mug at the office.
Nerdy Baby ABC’s and 123’s Flash Cards
Give your baby (or a friend’s baby) a head start in life with these flash cards, designed by a chemical engineer for her kids. I bought some for my children and for some friends.
Nerdy Baby ABCs and 123s... wooooo GET BOTH
Snorg Tees Geek-Nerd Section
There’s a tee for every nerd at the Snorg Tees shop. Some feature inside jokes that only the initiated will understand. You dig?
My personal favourite, pi versus the imaginary numbers: http://www.snorgtees.com/t-shirts/pi-be-rational
Pi Be Rational
The Evernote Smart Notebook by Moleskine
Specially-formatted paper is designed so you can photograph the pages and convert them directly to pages in your Evernote notebooks. Fabulous!
Happy shopping!

DIY Christmas: Make your own Advent Calendar

December is almost here – it’s time to get ready. It doesn’t have to be expensive, either! Christmas is a great time of year to make crafts with your kids, or on your own. Have a Do-It-Yourself Christmas this year – start by making an Advent Calendar. Here are some of my favourite ideas:

Advent Gift Tags (pictured) – here’s a set I made using the Candlelight Christmas designer paper and 25 and Counting stamp set from Stampin’ Up! Pretty ribbon is used to tie the tags to any gifts you choose. I also made a set using paper favour boxes, by adhering punched out snowflakes with the 25-and-counting images (also shown at right). The boxes are thumb-tacked to a cork board that was covered with Christmas paper and ribbon.

Other ideas to inspire you:

Canadian Living Home & Crafts has a ton of great ideas, including an Advent Calendar:

DIY Christmas: Make a chic Advent calendar – Canadian Living.

Martha Stewart, always a go-to:

http://www.marthastewart.com/857740/handmade-advent-calendars/@center/307034/christmas-workshop#858114

The Crafty Crow – A Children’s Craft Collective

This site is a treasure trove of ideas, including these ones. Many use recycled and scrap materials and will appeal to kids: http://www.thecraftycrow.net/2010/11/24-advent-calendars-to-make.html

Fiskars Crafts

You probably know that Fiskars makes a lot of fabulous scissors and other cutting/punching tools for papercrafting. I just discovered their Crafts website – here is a link to their Advent Calendar ideas:

http://www.fiskarscrafts.com/articles/t_adventcalendars.aspx